Refashionista! Making over an old garment.

Here is my Coat Project from Second Year of  Fashion Design at Wellington Polytechnic.  This was my former life, when I lived at home with my family, was carefree and single, and dreamed of living and working in London – where I would need a ridiculously long coat in a really thick wool fabric to get through the winter right?!

My taste has changed since those days,  I had wanted to make this coat over for years as I have felt embarrassed by the size of the collar mostly!  And really, a full length coat in Sydney – slightly OTT!

The fabric is a lovely charcoal grey Harris Tweed with multicoloured flecks through it.  I bought this because it was thick and spongy – read – easy to sew!

After I cut 500grams (1 pound) of hem and lining off the bottom I spent about 10 hours unpicking and re-sewing, then unpicking again, fighting with my overlocker for an 1.5 hours, lots of steamy iron action and pressure.  Resorting to binding the hem in disgust because  the overlocker refused to play.   Handsewing the hem to its new length, handstitching the pockets closed a couple of sneaky handstitches to try to make the collar sit properly then finally covering the offending collar with enormous brooch I was done!  Should be good for another 20 years!Before - The Elephant Ear Collar

After - The remodelled collar

During - The collar inside out - repinned into the new shape


My first quilt!

“Quilting was found to enhance wellbeing and provide cognitive, creative and emotional benefits. The use of bright colours in quilting is ‘uplifting’, as an activity it’s stress busting and the spatial, geometric element provides mathematical challenge.

It’s also an ideal green hobby as it gives an opportunity to reuse pre-loved fabrics and give them a new identity.”

This quote is from The Friends of the Earth.  I love it!  And who would have thought I would be one to seek a mathematical challenge!  I am terrible at maths.

I have are a couple of pics of my first attempt at a quilt – finished a while ago now – I was definitely channelling Cath Kidston.

Fabrics are from many sources, some are new from my local fancy quilting shop: Material Obsession. Some are from Spotlight, some are vintage (like the pink peacocks) from Op Shops.

Hope to get onto my next one soon – have a big stash of fabric to work on!

Alphabet Artwork to make


Noah my youngest started school this year.  He didn’t really learn his letters in two years of PreSchool.  I found this quite disappointing, quite.  But his wonderful Kindergarten teacher thought there was a tiny problem and packed us off to see the “Behavioural Optometrist”. clever man, who discovered that Noah is extremely long-sighted and is not comfortable with reading letters and numbers up close.   He has some groovy teal tinted lenses and is improving now.  I am very grateful for the experience of his teacher in picking up this issue!

I made him this chart for his room, and hung it over his bed – he loves to sing the alphabet and sadly now, pick the letters off.

The letters came from Living Textiles and I bought them when I was calling in at Babies Galore (working – sssshhhh).


Sorry the photos are out of order – still battling with learning this blogging stuff!


T x

Finders Keepers Market Finds

Last month the cool girls from Hornsby Heights, allowed me to tag along with them on their special outing to the fabulous Finders Keepers Markets at CarraigeWorks

On my way had to make a quick stop at Vinnies, to buy a slip cos’ I was having a wardrobe malfunction – of the “skirt sticks to leggings and rides up un-attractively” kind.  Crisis averted I purchased my ticket to Redfern and was off on the train.

An hour after opening at 11am the markets were crowded!  I usually like to do a quick dash around, but this was impossible.

I met up with the cool girls who were loving it all.  The creativity was inspiring.

There was lots of lovely stuff for sale.  Some of the printed fabrics divine, lots of jewellery, some clothes.  I could have easily spent $100 more than the approximately $30 odd I did spend.

I would have loved to have engaged with some of the stall holders a little more.  I used to do markets years ago (but thats for another day) some would not even make eye contact – it was weird, and no way to sell stuff or even get valuable feedback on their work.  Such as, hey – why do your bangles come in gnome size, don’t tall girls get to wear bangles.  Just saying!

The cutey baby card was I think $4.  The Letterpress gift tags were exquisite and reasonable at 6 for $10.

The Brooch – a Fifties lady – isn’t she lovely?   I think she was $18.

T x

The Perfect Summer Dress – in Winter

Here is something I have finished recently for the Sew Weekly (Northern Hemisphere Based) Weekly Challenge which was The Perfect Summer Dress.

I had to stand in front of the heater for Mark to take my photos – you can still see the sock mark on my leg – which is always nice!

Got the pattern from the 50’s Fair for, I think for $8 a few years ago – they are all around $20 plus these days.

The fabric is from Ikea – Britten Hus, $3.99 per metre – I love the happy little houses!Does my bum look big in this?

Had a few technical problems with the pattern.  Had to lower the bust darts as they came up to high – not a good look.  Lengthened the bodice, but I think I could have gone further with that.  Also its been so long since I had to insert a side zip I put it facing to the front – whoops oh well, will have to keep my arms down!
Bit worried that it makes my backside look huge – Mum always told me I shouldn’t wear gathered skirts, but I have always really wanted a classic 50’s gathered skirt dress, since my friend Bianca came back with a fabulous one from Sydney when we were teens in the 80’s –  so I went for it.
I think this style of cotton dress would be so comfortable in Sydney’s heat, can’t wait to wear it, but I can wait for that heat!
Hope you had a lovely Queens Birthday everyone
T x